See full review here
WOWOWOWOWOWWW. Such a great story. Chelsea is a brave girl with a lot of courage and strength to do what she does. A vow of silence is no joke, and Chelsea doesn't take it lightly. It's interesting to see her grow up over time in this novel. Hannah Harrington really made this story amazing with all the side plots and lessons learned. I read it pretty slow in order to take in every word, and it made me tear up twice. I laughed, I cried, I wanted to take my own vow of silence. I'd read this again right now if I wasn't so backed up on review books. SO SO GOOD.
This book is powerful in a quiet way. And that's no pun or joke. It's serious. It's no joke figuring out who you are in high school. It's serious business when you're 16, knowing who your friends are, what flies and what doesn't with them. I never had this problem since I went to a pretty small school, but I've read enough and heard enough stories to know that kids are ruthless! Teens and young adults can be brutal to one another! This book is a great example.
If you think that's enough, then this novel deals with homophobia and hate crimes. HELLO! These are some of my favorite topics to discuss because they get me SO MAD and riled up that I could spit fire. NO ONE puts their hands on another human being out of hate, with intentions to hurt. Especially when it's unfounded, ignorant, unacceptable hate. Okay, I better get back on track. Here's the deal:
So Chelsea witnesses two guys making out at a party. Since she can never keep her trap shut (plus she's had a bit to drink), she spills the beans. Two of the boys in her crowd of friends decide he's a disgusting animal and go beat him up. Chelsea does the right thing and tells the police, but in turn she loses every single friend and shred of dignity she had at her school. (The back of the book tells you this - it's no spoiler.) But Chelsea has some lessons to learn, like if those friends were ever worth the things she had to do in order to keep them around. I loved this book, but I wish stories like this didn't have to be told. It's so sad, but hopefully people learn from books like this one.
So, full disclosure, this was an ARC copy I received from ALA. I know that it's not the final, finished copy, and there were some editing issues. This time I'm not just talking about weird grammar or missing punctuation. I'm talking about issues with TIME in this book. On day 22 it's apparently Saturday AND Sunday, and then day 24 is Saturday again.. something like that. I tried to stop paying attention to the day headers because they didn't really matter in terms of the story. I kind of wish those would go. Plus I wanted a little more at the end. Like what happens to the guys who beat Noah up. That kind of stuff. It has a great ending, perfect final words, so I'm not too disappointed.
Basically, READ THIS THING! Much better than Saving June!